Republic Act No. 11234: Energy Virtual Online One Stop Shop Law or the EVOSS ACT

Republic Act No. 11234: Energy Virtual Online One Stop Shop Law or the EVOSS ACT

The Philippines is an emerging economy and its economy has greatly shifted from agriculture to industry. In terms of energy use, conventional fossil fuels (oil and gas) are the main source for its primary energy demands.

Philippines is highly exposed to oil price volatility due to the fact that it is dependent on imports for almost half of its primary energy supply. Consequently, the Government resolves to bolster its energy security while doing a delicate balancing act of pursuing a low carbon economic development to combat the effects of climate change. It also endeavored to find means to streamline the process of application and monitoring of permits and license of energy projects through legislation.

Thus, the Energy Virtual Online Stop Shop Law or the EVOSS ACT was born. Signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2019, Republic Act no. 11234 or EVOSS Law paved the way for the creation and establishment of an online platform where prospective developers can apply, monitor, and receive all the needed permits and applications, submit all documentary requirements, and even pay for charges and fees.

This is considered a momentous anti-red tape measure that will expedite, modernize and streamline the application process of energy projects in the Philippines. The law is focused on attracting foreign investors or big time international energy stakeholders with the capacity to build high technology and high-yielding power plants to enter the energy market. In turn, the entry of foreign investors will stimulate competition in the Philippine energy generation industry. Consequently, the increased competition would drop the generation costs, which could be beneficial to consumer and end-users as it would electricity prices.

Further,

Salient Provisions

EVOSS is web based monitoring system for energy applications and repository of project related information and permits issued.

Specifically, the EVOSS has the following powers, functions, and characteristics, among others:

  1. Recognizes the legal effect, validity, and enforceability of electronic documents submitted in relation to applications for permits and/or certifications necessary for, or related to, applications for power generation, transmission, or distribution projects;
  2. Utilizes an online payment system for all fees imposed for applications for permits and/or certifications necessary for, or related to, applications for power generation, transmission, or distribution projects;
  3. Provides a secure and accessible paperless processing system through which proponents may:
    • Obtain the list of all electronic documentary requirements of all concerned government bureaus, offices, agencies, GOCCs, LGUs, and other entities, and the corresponding fees and permitting process for each kind of power generation, transmission, or distribution project, and for each phase of the project;
    • Prepare, submit, process, and receive actions on all submitted electronic documentary requirements;
    • Monitor and inquire on the status of ongoing applications for permits and/or certifications necessary for, or related to, applications for power generation, transmission, or distribution projects, and in relation thereto, ascertain the bureau, office, agency, and individuals tasked with acting on a submitted electronic document, and the action or inaction thereon;
    • Calculate, pay, and settle all appropriate fees electronically; and
    • Submit complaints concerning inaction on submitted electronic documents.
  4. Provides a secure and accessible system for all government bureaus, offices, agencies, GOCCs, LGUs, and other entities involved in the permitting process of power generation, transmission, or distribution projects to inter-operate.
  5. Operates as a one hundred percent (100%) virtual storage and rules-driven system built as an integrated shared service of government bureaus, offices, agencies, GOCCs, LGUs, and other entities involved in the permitting process of power generation, transmission, or distribution projects; and
  6. Utilizes a technology platform and an operations management software platform for government bureaus, offices, agencies, GOCCs, LGUs, and other entities involved in the permitting process of power generation, transmission, or distribution projects to build their defined processes and forms within a strict time frame using published standards.

Confidentiality

Investors need not worry about disclosing and submitting confidential information into the EVOSS System. The Act provides for a confidentiality clause and sanctions for its violations. Thus, no information or any aspect of a document submitted to EVOSS System by any power generation, transmission, or distribution project proponent shall be divulged or released to anyone other than an authorized person or agency.

Applicability

EVOSS will apply to all new power generation, transmission, or distribution projects in the country and in national and local government units, including Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs).

Online Platform

Under the Act, Energy Virtual Online Sharing System (EVOSS) is established and under the supervision of the Department of Energy (DOE).  Moreover, under the Act, DOE is tasked to operate and maintain an effective information technology infrastructure system, which shall be updated regularly. Currently, the EVOSS System includes the application processes for renewable energy and power projects.

The EVOSS can be accessed through http://www.evoss.ph

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